Corona: Surviving Lockdown 2 (Part A)
So, we’re a week into our second lockdown and I don’t know about you, but I’m already finding it pretty different to the first one we underwent. Not only is it dark at 5pm, uni. work and deadlines are piling up. You’d think it impossible not to be on top of things when there’s nothing to do all day, but I don’t think I have a single friend who isn’t behind! In this blog series, I’m going to mention the major issues people are having and together we can explore solutions to them.
Lack of Motivation
When you don’t even know if you’ll be able to get a job once you finish your degree, it can be hard to find the strength to plough on with lectures and university work. However, this lack of motivation does not only affect you education-wise, but it creeps in to all aspects of life and you might find yourself struggling to even get out of bed until noon. To crack this, have a read of my tips below.
I know it’s cliché but writing a list of what you want to achieve that day is important (see below), however it’s equally important to remember why you need to get them done. Take some time to reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing, whether that be studying or cleaning the bathroom. For example, if you need to study, think about getting that wonderful grade at the end of the year, and being able to say you have a *grade* in *degree* from the University of Warwick. Now that’s pretty snazzy! And who knows how the situation may progress. You can tackle that once you get the degree, but for the time-being, you have to achieve it first and worry about career prospects later. But hey, this doesn’t just apply to learning. It could be anything, you just need to tap into your reasons for doing it.
Why even bother getting out of bed, right? Well, I’m afraid the world keeps on turning bub, and there are plenty of things you can do even if you can’t head outside. This is the new normal; it’s up to you to find out how you can apply yourself. If worse comes to worst, do something to avoid doing something else! For example, today I was in charge of cleaning the family bathroom, the kitchen and my bedroom. For some reason, my parents said I had to get it all done by 3pm. I really don’t get why I had that weird time limit, it’s hardly as if we were having people coming over but for whatever reasons unbeknown to me, I had to get it done. This was particularly tricky as I had had a rough start to the day and got back from my run (more on that in Part B) after lunchtime. Things were not looking good and I just wanted to watch Hotel For Dogs and eat my sandwich and be miserable and ignore my duties and responsibilities as I have been doing the last few days. But then I thought to myself, ha, if I do the cleaning, I can’t be told off for not doing my lectures because I’m simply doing what I’m told. It was a win-win so I grabbed my phone along with the cleaning products and got to it. This story isn’t to flex on my cleaning abilities, but it’s a reminder you can be productive when you procrastinate, so let that motivate you to begin your list of chores, even if you don’t want to tackle certain tasks.
I also wanted to add if you’re a gorgeous being who enjoys wearing makeup to look even more gorgeous, I recommend dressing up and doing your hair and makeup every now and then. You may not even need to head outside, but it really can cheer you up rather than looking glum in grey trackies all day, or blue in black leggings. Even sticking on a bit of jewellery cheers me up, so if you’re looking bomb, you’ll feel bomb and realise you really can take on the world, one task at a time.
When you’re already losing sight of the finish line, it’s easy to put things off because you feel like you’ll never reach it anyway. Like everyone else, I’m awful for procrastination. I spend stupid amounts of time on Snapchat Discover watching random DIY videos which I know I’ll never do (when would I ever need to make cement earrings???). Not only that, if anything unexpected comes up, it’ll eat into my study-time rather than the time set aside for relaxation. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips on how to become a productivity pro!
Make a timetable or at the very least, a list of things you want to achieve that day. You don’t have to have it set out for a whole week, but just writing out what needs to be done today can be really helpful to encourage you to reach your targets. Not only can you easily track your progress, it’s super satisfying ticking the box once you’ve completed it (or crossing the task out, if that’s your style). If you set times to the task, it’s good for letting you know when you need to crack on and turn off the telly, but don’t become too obsessed if you’re out of sync with your plan. Equally, it could backfire the other way that you only write down two 5-minute tasks for the whole day and think you’re smashing it when really you could’ve fit a lot more in. Either way, a list of things to do is important so you can get that step closer to your final goal.
Set reminders on your phone for the important tasks you need to get done. If I have a meeting I know I’ll probably forget to prepare for beforehand, I’ll set a quick reminder at a decent time (~5pm) the day before to make sure I’ve completed the worksheet ahead of time. You don’t want to be caught out!
Use screen time to your advantage and set app limits. I have an hour limit for Snapchat because I’m really awful with it. I wish that you could deactivate the Discover section but obviously that’s how they make their money, so the function is here to stay. The same applies to other apps such as Facebook and Instagram (and Twitter, if that still exists) and TikTok (do people over 14 years of age have that downloaded? Idk) so you won’t spend your entire afternoon looking at videos which aren’t lectures.
Finally, reward yourself for your good work! Procrastination usually occurs when you have a big boring task ahead of you, so once you finish and get that wonderful feeling of satisfaction and completion, do something fun! I’d recommend having a choccy but no! have something better like a tangerine.
See you in Part B!